Introduction: Internalizing the Revolution

P. 5 “Knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better.”

P. 7 “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”

P. 7 “Conditions for all women will improve when there are more women in leadership roles giving strong and powerful voice to their needs and concerns.”

P. 8 “Men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on past accomplishments.”

P. 9 “Internal obstacles deserve a lot more attention, in part because they are under our own control.”

P. 10 “Many people are not interested in acquiring power, not because they lack ambition, but because they are living their lives as they desire.”

P. 11 “Shift to a more equal world will happen person by person. We move closer to the larger goal of true equality with each woman who leans in.”

1. The Leadership Ambition Gap – What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

P. 15 “Girls growing up today are not the first generation to have equal opportunity, but they are the first to know that all that opportunity does not necessarily translate into professional achievement.”

P. 17 “Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishment comes at cost.”

P. 23 “Women are not thinking about having it all, they’re worried about losing it all—their jobs, their children’s health, their families’ financial stability—because of the regular conflicts that arise between being a good employee and a responsible parent.”

P. 24 “Children, parents, and marriages can all flourish when both parents have full careers. Sharing financial and child-care responsibilities leads to less guilty moms, more involved dads, and thriving children.”

P. 24 “Fear is the root of so many barriers that women face—without fear, women can pursue professional success and personal fulfillment—and freely choose one, or the other, or both.”

P. 25 “Find the right career for you and go all the way to the top.”

P. 25 “As you walk off this stage today, you start your adult life.  Start out by aiming high. Try—and try hard.”

P. 26 “Ask yourself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.”

2. Sit at the Table

P. 38 “Feeling confident—or pretending that you feel confident—is necessary to reach for opportunities.”

P. 36 “If we want a world with greater equality, we need to acknowledge that women are less likely to keep their hands up. We need institutions and individuals to notice and correct for this behavior by encouraging, promoting, and championing more women. And women have to learn to keep their hands up, because when they lower, even managers with the best intentions might not notice.”

P. 38 “No one can accomplish anything all alone.”

3. Success and Likeability

P. 40 “Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.”

P. 43 “If a woman is competent, she does not seem nice enough. If a woman seems really nice, she is considered more nice than competent.”

P. 44 “Owning one’s success is key to achieving more success.”

P. 47 “Women can increase their chances of achieving a desired outcome by doing two things in combination. First, women must come across as being nice, concerned about others, and ‘appropriately female’. Second, what women must do is provide a legitimate explanation for the negotiation.”

P. 50 “Everyone needs to get more comfortable with female leaders—including female leaders themselves.”

P. 51 “When you want to change things you cannot please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren’t making enough progress.”

4. It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder

P. 53 “Careers do not need to be mapped out from the start. Job seekers often have to accept what is available and hope that It points in a desirable direction.”

P. 58 “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

P. 59 “Employees who concentrate on results and impact on results are the most valuable.”

P. 62 “Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that—and I’ll learn by doing it.’”

P. 63 “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

P. 63 “Do not wait for power to be offered.”

5. Are You My Mentor?

P. 69 “Capturing someone’s attention or imagination in a minute can be done, but only when planned and tailored to that individual.”

P 74 “Guidance can come from all levels.”

6. Seek and Speak Your Truth

P. 78 “Communication works best when we combine appropriateness with authenticity, finding that sweet spot where opinions are not brutally honest but delicately honest.”

P. 79 “Great leadership is ‘conscious’ leadership.”

P.  79 “Communication starts with the point of view (my truth) and someone else’s point of view (his truth). Rarely is there one absolute truth, so people who believe that they speak the truth are very silencing to others.”

*P. 80 “The ability to listen is as important as the ability to speak.”

P. 80 “Restate the other person’s point before responding to it.”

P. 81 “We all want to be heard, and when we focus on showing others that we are listening, we actually become better listeners.”

P. 81 “Being aware of a problem is the first step to correcting it.”

P. 81 “We can try to guess what they’re thinking, but asking directly is far more effective.”

P. 83 “As hard as it is to have an honest dialogue about business decisions, it is even harder to give individuals honest feedback.”

P. 84 “Being open to hearing the truth means taking responsibility for mistakes.”

P. 86 “When people are open and honest, thanking them publicly encourages them to continue while sending a powerful signal to others.”

P. 86 “Humor can be an amazing tool for delivering an honest message in a good-natured way.”

P. 88 “Sharing emotions builds deeper relationships.”

P. 88 “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.”

P. 88 “Recognizing the role emotions play and being willing to discuss them makes us better managers, partners, and peers.”

7. Don’t Leave Before You Leave

P. 95 “No one should pass judgement on highly personal decisions.”

P. 95 “The months and years leading up to having children are not the time to lean back, but the critical time to lean in.”

P. 99 “It’s hard to predict how an individual will react to becoming a parent, it’s easy to predict society’s reaction—when a couple announces that they are having a baby, everyone says ‘congratulation’ to the man and ‘congratulation! What are you planning on doing about work?’ to the woman.”

P. 102 “Child care is a huge expense, and it’s frustrating to work hard just to break even. But professional women need to measure the cost of child care against their future salary rather than their current salary.”

P. 103 “We make it too easy for women to drop out of the career marathon; we also make it too hard for men.”

8. Make Your Partner a Real Partner 

P. 109 “Anyone who wants her mate to be a true partner must treat him as an equal—and equally capable—partner.”

P. 115 “The image of happy couples still includes a husband who is more professionally successful than the wife. If the reverse occurs, it’s perceived as threatening to the marriage.”

P. 115 “When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, crazy boys. But do not marry them. When it comes to settlement, find someone who wants an equal partner.”

P. 116 “If a relationship begins in an unequal place, it is likely to get more unbalanced when and if children are added to the equation.”

P. 117 “If you want an equal partnership, you should start now.”

P. 119 “A more equal division of labor between parents will model better behavior for the next generation.”

P. 120 “We need more men to sit at the table … the kitchen table.”

9. The Myth of Doing It All

P. 122 “Pursuing both a professional and personal life is a noble and attainable goal, up to a point.”

P. 136 “Exclusive maternal care was not related to better or worse outcomes for children. There is, thus, no reason for mothers to feel as though they are harming their children if they decide to work.”

*P. 139 “Success is making the best choices we can… and accepting them.”

10. Let’s Start Talking About It

P. 155 “Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it seems like a long shot.”

P. 155 “Every job will demand some sacrifice. The key is to avoidunnecessarysacrifice.”

P. 157 “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

P. 158 “The result of creating a more equal environment will not just be better performance for our organizations, but quite likely greater happiness for all.”

11. Working Together Towards Equality

P. 159 “True equality is long overdue and will be achieved only when more women rise to the top of every government and every industry.”

P. 160 “Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible.”

P. 168 “We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. So, let’s start by validating one another.”

P. 171 “If we start using the talents of the entire population, our institutions will be more productive, our homes will be happier, and the children growing up in those homes will no longer be held back by narrow stereotypes.”

P. 171 “If more women lean in, we can change the power structure of our world and expand opportunities for all.”

Priyanka Uprety